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Google sidesteps 'Google Wireless' speculation

Co-founder won't discuss 700MHz wireless bid

Google executives refused to discuss rumours of a new 'Gphone' mobile phone, or details of any participation in the upcoming US 700MHz wireless spectrum auction in the US during yesterday's quarterly earnings announcement.

Co-founder Larry Page said Google is happy with the provisions the Federal Communications Commission put on the auction that will require auction winners to keep some of the spectrum open. But he wouldn't say whether Google had decided to bid. "We have many options available to us as a company in terms of spectrum and connectivity for people. I don't think we feel like there's a desperate need for us to have to bid to win," Page said.

Likewise, the company doesn't have to build mobile phone software or hardware to be successful in the mobile market, said Sergey Brin, co-founder and president of technology at Google. The company hasn't commented on rampant speculation that it is developing a mobile phone or software for phones.

During the conference call, Google also said it has high hopes for its new Gadget Ads capability. The technology allows advertisers to embed functions within their ads. For example, Nissan is running an advertisement in the US that lets users type their ZIP code into the ad to get the local traffic report. Airlines are allowing users to enter a flight route and click on the ad to find results.

The search giant is also seeing growth in its Google Apps suite. Institutions including the University of Phoenix and Northwestern University are offering Google Apps to students. New capabilities such as presentations are helping to round out the package, Brin said.


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